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Investors will look to Apple's earnings call this afternoon for insight into iPhone X demand and how much overseas cash it may bring back to the states.

Here are the 3 big things we'll be paying attention to.

1. How's iPhone X demand?

  • This is the way-more-than-$64,000-question. Apple (and investors) are counting on the high-end phone to generate a "super cycle" of higher-than-typical upgrade rates and selling prices.
  • Recent reports have suggested production cuts, but longtime Apple watchers know such reports have a decidedly mixed track record.

2. How will Apple use all that repatriated cash?

  • Expect Apple to talk about buyback and dividend strategy and, if tradition is any guide, say little about its acquisition plans.
  • Historically, Apple tends to say the same thing: It buys lots of little companies and, while it hasn't done a lot of big ones, isn't philosophically opposed.

3. Where's Apple placing its bets?

  • It's hard to know just how much insight we will get, but as always, we'll be watching for any sign of where Apple is putting its time and energy.
  • Though it doesn't typically comment on future stuff, there's a chance Apple could make a nod to the shift toward quality and performance that it is making for this year's big software releases.
  • The company also sometimes gives oblique hints on whether to expect it to go into "new categories" or not.

Other indicators:

  • Services has been the fastest growing part of Apple's business and closely watched by Wall Street.
  • In the August-to-October quarter, Apple finally showed some improvement in China. It will be interesting to see how the December quarter went in that regard.
  • The numbers: Analysts are expecting Apple to report per-share earnings of $3.82 on revenue of $86.3 billion, per Zacks.

Go deeper

Scoop: Gina Haspel threatened to resign over plan to install Kash Patel as CIA deputy

CIA Director Gina Haspel. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

CIA Director Gina Haspel threatened to resign in early December after President Trump cooked up a hasty plan to install loyalist Kash Patel, a former aide to Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), as her deputy, according to three senior administration officials with direct knowledge of the matter.

Why it matters: The revelation stunned national security officials and almost blew up the leadership of the world's most powerful spy agency. Only a series of coincidences — and last minute interventions from Vice President Mike Pence and White House counsel Pat Cipollone — stopped it.

Updated 8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus deaths reach 4,000 per day as hospitals remain in crisis mode — CDC warns highly transmissible coronavirus variant could become dominant in U.S. in March.
  2. Politics: Biden says, "We will manage the hell out of" vaccine distribution — Biden taps ex-FDA chief to lead Operation Warp Speed amid rollout of COVID plan — Widow of GOP congressman-elect who died of COVID-19 will run to fill his seat.
  3. Vaccine: Battling Black mistrust of the vaccines"Pharmacy deserts" could become vaccine deserts — Instacart to give $25 to shoppers who get vaccine.
  4. Economy: Unemployment filings explode againFed chair: No interest rate hike coming any time soon —  Inflation rose more than expected in December.
  5. World: WHO team arrives in China to investigate pandemic origins.

John Weaver, Lincoln Project co-founder, acknowledges “inappropriate” messages

John Weaver aboard John McCain's campaign plane in February 2000. Photo: Robert Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images)

John Weaver, a veteran Republican operative who co-founded the Lincoln Project, declared in a statement to Axios on Friday that he sent “inappropriate,” sexually charged messages to multiple men.

  • “To the men I made uncomfortable through my messages that I viewed as consensual mutual conversations at the time: I am truly sorry. They were inappropriate and it was because of my failings that this discomfort was brought on you,” Weaver said.
  • “The truth is that I'm gay,” he added. “And that I have a wife and two kids who I love. My inability to reconcile those two truths has led to this agonizing place.”